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Unmanned Systems

When portability means the difference between unmanned mission success and failure, Defender Series products are the only option. These SOFC provide lightweight power for unmanned systems, from aerial and ground vehicles to sensors and more.

Proven Power Source for World’s Largest Military Contractors

The Defender Series from Adaptive Energy offers silent, lightweight range extenders that run on propane and offer reliable low-watt power. 

Enabling Migration to All-Electric Drivetrain

From mobile vehicles to stationary sensors, unmanned applications require long-running, lightweight power that is quiet, small and hard to detect. Defender Series SOFC enable a UAx platform migration to a quiet, all-electric drivetrain — without sacrificing mission duration.

6x Increase in Duration Over Batteries

Designed for applications that demand lightweight, rugged power, the fuel cell electrochemically converts propane into electrical power that is used to charge on-board batteries, significantly extending mission duration. You can replace 90% of batteries with SOFC for a sixfold increase in mission duration.

unmanned systems sofc use case

Designed for Harsh Environments

Defender Series SOFC are specifically engineered for performance in all environments. They tolerate fine dust and rain and will not fail in freezing conditions. That’s because they are made of heat-resistant ceramic tubes and are engineered to store, start and operate from –20C to 55C. Ensuring your unmanned systems will stay operational in any environment.

Key Use Cases for UAx Platforms

SOFC offer a sixfold improvement in mission duration over battery-powered systems


Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Helps UAVs fly longer with a more functional payload

Unmanned Ground Vehicles

Allows UGVs to roam further while performing essential tasks, including IED defeat

Ground Sensors

Can power sensors for longer persistent stare tasks. Eliminates battery changes that draw attention to hidden units
Case Study

SOFC Set the Standard for Lightweight, Power-Dense UAS Fuel Systems

Lockheed Martin’s Stalker VXE is the only UAS in its class to achieve Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL), thanks to the Defender Series power system. The SOFC is a result of nearly 10 years of research and development on lightweight, power-dense fuel systems.

Stalker VXE

“Thanks to Adaptive Energy’s reliable D450 propane fuel cell and onboard filtering system, the Stalker VXE now achieves VTOL capability with over 8 hours of silent electric flight.”

– Sam Miller, Chief Product Officer of Edge Autonomy

Benefits of SOFC for Unmanned Systems

The only UAS in its class with VTOL, Stalker VXE is field-proven for 50 landing cycles and up to 11 flight hours — thanks to its lightweight, power-dense Defender Series SOFC fuel system. Here’s why more customers are turning to Defender Series SOFC to power unmanned systems.


Quiet & Hard to Detect

With the noise signature of a desktop computer, SOFC ensures the UAx remains quiet so that it can fly closer to the target and use less expensive payloads for the same mission.


Field-Proven to Withstand Vibration

The SOFC undergo rigorous shock, vibration and drop testing to ensure performance in any environment.

Simple To Deploy

With no routine maintenance needs, SOFC is simple for a single person to deploy and maintain.


Excel from –20C to 50C, offering wide storage temperatures without the risk of discharge. They will not freeze because they are made of heat-resistant ceramic tubes and the fuel cell reaction produces no liquid water.

Compact, Lightweight Design

The unique microtubular stack design yields a highly durable, lightweight product that is easy to transport and has a small footprint.


Specifically designed to tolerate fine dust and rain.


Highly Reliable

Customers have reported that our SOFC are so reliable that they feel comfortable letting battery voltage drop as low as 23.5 before the SOFC cycles on to recharge.


SOFC offer a sixfold improvement in mission duration over battery-powered systems. And fuel is consumed proportionally to the load – if the load is light, the mission will last longer.


Remote Monitoring

Performance can be monitored from anywhere because SOFC have flexible communications that can integrate with third-party systems.


Built-in serial communications allow for integration to the UAx platform for monitoring and two-way communication.


Easy to integrate with existing batteries and charging devices such as solar, wind or other hybrid infrastructure.

Interested in integrating SOFC into your unmanned system?

Contact us today to discuss your platform.